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tv   News  Al Jazeera  November 5, 2014 2:00pm-2:31pm EST

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>> for too long this administration has tried to tell the american people what's good for them. and then blame somebody else when their policies didn't work out. >> thanks to all of you. we're heading to washington. and we're going to make them squeal. >> senator elect joni ernst. and before her th mitch mcconnel mcconnell. the grand 'ol party has seized control of congress and governorship across the country.
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>> i'm david shoeser. >> and you make me squeal. i'm michael shure. we're watching as the balance of power shifts. libby casey is in louisville, kentucky, where mitch mcconnell will presumably be the senate's majority. and our white house correspondent mike viqueira joins us where the president is scheduled to speak this afternoon. >> michael, let's start with you. it's a new era for the president. what can we expect him to say? >> well, i think you're going to hear cancellation from president obama. no surprise there. is there going to be follow through, and if he's kin sear sincere will consilliatin.
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one thing that the president won't be able to argue, we heard at 7:00 last night this was not a reflection of the electorate. the senate was going to be decided in arkansas, georgia and other states and west virginia, where the seats were likely to flip from democrat to republican. you can't say that any more. the democrats and the president won't be able to hide lined that. this was a repudiation about a question of the president's policies, democrats in power. when you are mark warner a popular former governor in georgia with negative low ratings, locked still in an uncalled race in virginia, then you see anthony brown in neighboring maryland with a 2-1 democratic registration advantage losing, getting wiped out by an unknown republican, then you know it's not just a matter of the map. there was something much bigger going on.
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>> mike viqueira at the white house. again as we wait for mitch mcconnell in the scene in the mcconnell center, the conference room from kelly o'donnell on the left. and carl cameron on the right. >> which networks don't you see there? >> of course, the big news, the republican party seize control of the senate, and mcconnell is now poised to become the next senate majority leader. libby casey is not missing. she joins us from louisville. what can we expect to hear from mcconnell today? >> we're right outside of the mcconnell center, of course, this auditorium, named for his wife who was secretary of labor under president george w. bush. this is a center here at the senator's alma mater, named for him, an appropriate place for him to make his first address to win control of the senate. we expect him to be majority leader.
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it's still a political process, and it has to happen among the republicans and the senate. it is seen as a forgone conclusion that they'll take that perch. we expect to hear a peace making tone. we've watched the republicans nickname the party of no, that strategy, it turns out, seems to have worked. it was time to see republicans take more control. now they're going to pivot, and send a lot of bills to the president and give him th the
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opportunity to veto. >> ari ravenhoft is a strategist with harry reid. he'll be with us to help us digest what we're hearing. what do you expect to hear from mitch mcconnell in the next few minutes? >> a lot of what libby has been saying for a while now. a conciliatory town, this is the time to make nice, and then we'll see the mitch mcconnell that we're accustomed of seeing. is the president going to do what mitch mcconnell did to him? is he going to be the no desk? that remains to be seen. of the democrats want him to be. >> you have to wonder if the white house will wonder, we'll go to mitch mcconnell speaking now in louisville.
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>> the president of the university who is here. jim, thank you for joining us today. [applause] and you may recognize these youngsters over here. they're in a scholarship program that work with the university over the last 20 years. it's the best and brightest program for the students inside kentucky. not non-residence. they attend each year. and they're here today to witness what we may talk about. so let me just make a couple of observations. i think the voters were saying yesterday was a couple of things. number one, they're obviously not satisfied with the direction of the administration. but at the same time i heard a lot of discussion about dysfunction in washington. i think a lot of people believe
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just because you have divided government it doesn't mean you don't accomplish anything. earlier today i got a call from a president, mr. reid, the speaker, and ted cruz, too. we all ought to see what areas of agreement there are, and see if we can make progress for the country. i like to remind people that divided government is not unusual in this country. it happens frequently more often than not since world war ii. i don't think it means that they don't want us to do anything. i think they want us to look for areas of agreement. regan never had the house in eight years. clinton did not have the house or senate in six of hit eight
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years. i can think of four session things done. reaganen and tip o'neill saved social security for a generation and did the last comprehensive tax reform. we need to do that again. bill clinton and republicans balanced the budget three years in a row. we ought to start with the view that maybe there are some things that we can agree on to make progress for the country. from an institutional point of view the senate needs to be fixed. i made a speech back in january not widely covered, probably shouldn't have been widely covered, but a lot of people inside the senate paid a lot of attention to it. the senate in the last few years has not done anything. we don't even vote. senator begich, who may have been defeated had the handicap of trying to explain to the people in alaska why in six years he has not had a roll call vote on the floor for an
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amendment. i need to get the senate bac back to normal. that means working more. i don't think we've had votes on friday in anybody's memory. it means opening the senate up so you that amendments are permitted on both side and it means burning the midnight oil to come to an conclusion. i remember when majority leaders would take up a bill and they wouldn't finish it. they would finish it thursday night, friday morning or saturday. but you have to mean it. it's amazing what happened at midnight on thursday. people are very aggressive on tuesday morning, were awfully anxious to leave on friday morning. amendments would go away and bills would pass. another thing, the committees need to be relevant again. if a bill comes out of committee on a bipartisan basis.
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that means you have both democrats and republicans who are interested in seeing it pass. so bipartisan constituency for moving forward. now having said that there are differences. we will certainly be voting on things as well that we think the administration has not done enough. they seem to have had no interest, for example, in doing anything serious on the energy front. we have not had an energy bill in seven years. when you say energy these days people think of the keystone pipeline, but that's only part of it. we need to embrace the energy revolution that is going on in our country. promote it, hugely advantageous to america. at only in the area of energy independence but employment. the employment connected with keystone are stunning if we would just get going.
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there are going to be areas of disagreement, but that's not unusual going back to the founding of the country. let me open it. >> many say that they want to see gridlock end. what can you do? and can you assure the american people that gridlock will end under your leadership? >> well, the senate was the problem. not the house. the house passed over 300 pieces of legislation. nothing was done with them in the senate. the american people have changed the senate. i think we have an obligation to change the behavior of the senate and begin to function again. that doesn't guarantee that the president is going to agree with everything that we do, but we're going back to work, and actually pass legislation. by the way, i've been called by three prominent democrats, prominent democrats, they're anxious to be relevant again.
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we are "e" they'r they are--they're anxious for commit work and to get votes. that's how you get rid of gridlock. it does not guarantee that you have a presidential signature on everything. he does have the right to veto. i think he has vetoed two little bills in six years. the first two years he loved everything he got and then he never got anything that he didn't like. that's how you cure gridlock. >> well, how can the american people believe you? that you would like to do something? what are a couple of specific examples of things that you think you can work with the president on? >> yes, trade agreements. the president and i were just talking about that before i came over here. most of his party is unenthusiastic about international trade. we think it's good for america.
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and so i've got a lot of members who believe that trade agreements are good for america. i think he's interested in moving forward. i said send us trade agreements. the president said he's interested in tax reform. having the highest tax rate in the industrialized world is a job exporter. he's interested in that issue, and we are, too. those are two very significant areas of potential agreement. >> there is only one democrat who counts, the president. when joe biden and i negotiated
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the deal in 2012, the thing i wanted the most that i thought would be most important for kentucky was a $5 million per person estate attacks exemption. a lot of people who have family farms and small businesses look like they're worth a lot of money, but they're really not. if you're luck i couldn't enough to have children who want to continue to farm or continue the small business you can't get it down to them, you could not in the past because of the estate tax exemption. the leader of the democrats in the house, they made it quite clear to me if that was the in the final deal the house democrats would not vote for it. i thanked her. it was in the final deal, and only 15 house democrats voted against it, and the democrat who counts is the president of the
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united states. democrats in congress will support whatever he agrees to do. that was a perfect example of exactly what i'm talking about. and you know, we're very much inclined to support president bush as well. this is not unusual. when you have the white house the most important member of your party is the person in the white house. >> can you talked about the possibility of accepting the bills, how it will alter the dynamic. >> we're going to function.
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we're going to pass legislation. number of it he may not like. to have a senate that actually works. >> the president of the united states makes a deal, he's a player. that's the way our system works. >> talking about you coming out for your victory speech. senator paul said that they would be sending bill after bill to repeal obamacare until he wearies it. seeing as that's one that he'll likely veto. what other tools can you do to reduce or slow down the affordable care act.
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>> well, it's no secret that every one of my members think that obamacare was a huge legislative mistake. it's fouled up the health insurance market. put states in a deep hole in terms of the medicate expansion and their own ability to finance it a few years from now. if i had the ability, carl, obviously i would get rid of it. obviously it's also true he's still there. so we'll be discussing how to go forward on this issue when we go back. i will say this for sure that there are pieces of it that are deeply unpopular with the american people. the medical device tax, which is exhorted an enormous number of jobs, the loss of the 40-hour workweek, big mistake. that ought to be restored. the individual mandate. people hate it. i think we'll be addressing that issue in a variety of different
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ways. >> as you know, regardless of what happens in th the last race, you're still short in the senate. how realistic, how far can you go in pushing the conservative agenda? >> well, we'll find out. what you state is a statement of the obvious. that it takes 60 votes to do a lot of things in the senate, but there are a lot of things we can do with 51 votes. the budget is an extremely important thing. the president has not signed the budget. that determines how much we're going to spend. i think it's within our ability, our power to pass more appropriation bills which fund the government, and it's no secret that i and most of my members think that the bureaucratic strange do
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youalation of our economy is a huge factor in the slow growth we've experienced after the recession of 2008. we will ap against this overactive bureaucracy, and we have a huge example of that in this state. cap and trade could not get the votes to pass when our friends on the other side own the place, when they had huge majority in the house and senate they could not pass cap and trade and the president is trying to do that any way. there is widespread opposition a and you can look for us to go after those things through the spending process, which i think is our best tool in our governmental system. >> we'll see how we do. paul? >> in the debt ceiling, you told me that it was a hostage not worth shooting, but hostage word
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holding. the debt ceiling is coming up sometime this spring/summer. are we going to have another brinksmanship there. >> the veto government shutdown is no default on the national debt. >> one of the issues i don't believe you mentioned is immigration in terms of what you might work with the president on. we suspect he'll move forward with some sort of action executive action in this area. what would be the republican response and would you seek to move a republican immigration plan. >> the president choosing to do a lot of things unilaterally on immigration would be a big mistake. it's an issue that most of my members want to address legislatively. and it's like waving a red flag in front of a bull to say if you guys don't do what i want i'm going to do it on my own. the president has done that on
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obamacare. he has done it on immigration, and threatening to do it again. i hope he won't do that because i think it poisons the well for the opportunity to address a very important domestic issue. >> you obviously have worked with the president for a number of years now. you've had meetings that were cordial and not so cordial. what is the sense of what he's going to do. many have mentioned tip o'neill and that wonderful camelot movement in this country. can that change between you and the republicans and the president? >> the relationship i've had with the president has always been cordial. it's not a personality problem or anything like that. i think my attitude about all
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this at this point is trust verified. the american people have spoken. they've given a divided government. the question for the president and the speaker and members, what are we going to do with it? i want to look look for area first look for areas that we can agree on. that's what we'll be talking about in the next few weeks. >> did you basically said there would not be a government shutdown? >> we're not going to be shutting down the government or defaulting. >> i know a lot of people who want to run for president.
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what i tell them all is the best day you'll have will be the day that you announce. it is short of being in combat and being shot at with real bullets. there is nothing harder than running for president. look, i have no problem with people's ambitions. i serve in a body with a bunch of class presidents. they're all ambitious. or they wouldn't be where they are. a lot of folks with sharp elbows and big egos and look, i'm not troubled by ambition. i think we can accommodate that and still make progress with the country. you're asking me a whole bunk of
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hypotheticals that i'm not willing to indulge in. >> it's been suggested that republican senate would bring the nomination process to a grinding halt. one, will it, how do you expect to handle the president's nominations, many important ones still lingering. what are your thoughts of getting rid of the option. >> i'll address the second issue. i've said to my members going back to november 13 when the trigger was pulled and the rules of the senate were broken that that is something that we ought to address if we're given the majority and we have been given the majority, and we will address it. i'm going to discuss that with our colleagues. it's a big issue. largely lost on the general public. the most significant thing that the majority leaders have decided to do is to break the rules of the senate, which requires 67 votes to change the rules of the senate, by overruling the parliament
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tearan, who said you cannot do that with 51. it was a huge, huge mistake in my view. it is hard to unring a bell. they've now established a precedent. it's a big issue and a big discussion that we're going to have in the coming months. >> they just called to congratulate me on the my election and it was impressed with a margin, and i was pretty happy about it myself. we had a good friendly conversation. i'm sorry. >> do you believe that he will be and some of those other republicans will make it difficult for you to have that responsible governing majority. >> we've got all kinds of people in the 54-member senate. we'll see where we are at the end of the voting.
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you can talk to him. it was a very cordial conversation. i appreciated the call. >> he called to congratulate me on my election. >> would you insist on cuts to correspond with any debt sealing that john boehner has in the past? >> we've had an opportunity to pass a budget, which has to do with how much you're going to spend. i think we have other mechanisms that were unavailable to us with the previous configuration of the government, and i think that's a pretty important tool. >> you talked about your phone call with harry reid, you two have had an acrimonious
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relationship? >> no. >> the most acrimonious relationship of any two leaders. >> we've had spirited debate about how the place is being run. but we don't have an acrimon ious relationship personally. anyway, what was your question? >> what is that relationship like, and are you going to work better together. >> he called to obviously having been a leader in a tough race himself, he called actually to compliment me on what a skillful campaign we ran. he obviously paid close attention to it. as many of us have discussed before that's the new paradigm since daschle was defeated. you get a presidential level campaign if you're a leader of the senate, and so harry said he followed it very closely and complimented me on the campaign
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well run. >> would you return the favor in 2015? >> look, i'm not--i didn't get involved the last time he was up, and i don't intend to be involved this time. >> can you talk about foreign policy and what your objectives will be. >> regard to the authorization to help the syrian rebels, as you know, we insisted on that terminating at the end of this year so we could have a new discussion with the battle of
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isis. that will be on the agenda at our luncheon on friday. where they are and the recommendations they have to make on the way forward. >> are you going to have hearings on the irs? >> oh, you can bet on that, yes. >> can you tell us how much of a window you can see yourself having, and the reconciliation tools-- >> we have to finish this year's session, first. harry reid is still the majority leader, and the immediate discussion will be what can we wrap up during the lame duck. there are a number of things that have been put off that--say that again?
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>> the cr expires. >> we'll be talking about the cr, and the tax extender package. there are a number of things that have sort of stacked up. i think i've said it before and i'll say it again. the senate has not been doing anything, so there is a whole lot of unfinished business sitting there. some of which might be advantageous to get out of the way. the democrats may want to do it, and we may want to do it in order to clear off some of the unnecessary work that has simply been undone in a dysfunctional senate. >> the big guys are doing just fine. the community banking are struggling. i think